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The school of Applied Arts and Sciences, Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State has called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency, come up with policies that will lead to a shift in macroeconomic orientation on consumption to production and industrialisation as well as evolve statements on diversification of the economy of Nigeria into a strategic policy framework that will guide investors, both foreign and domestic.
The institution also pointed out that the drive for diversification of the economy of Nigeria by the government requires media (both mainstream and social media) campaign at all levels of government to create necessary awareness among Nigerians about the general focus of the diversification.
These were some of the recommendations in a communiqué issued at the end of the 12th annual national conference of the school of applied arts and sciences, with the theme ‘Diversification of the economy of Nigeria: The place of school of applied arts and sciences.’
The conference observed that many Nigerians have a narrowed view of economic diversification as a return to farming only; the inability of the Federal Government to produce strategic policy framework for economic diversification; that the abysmal infrastructural conditions, especially power supply and transportation, might truncate the optimal realisation of diversification of the economy of Nigeria; the absence of interface between scientific and technological research findings in various tertiary institutions in Nigeria and the industrial sector of the economy; and over-emphasis on consumption than on production largely engendered by easy revenue from petroleum and trading (especially importation) hindered industrialisation.
Consequently, the conference further recommended the “provision of constant power supply and efficient transportation system, especially motorable roads all over the country are sine quo non to successful large-scale diversification of the economy of Nigeria and creation of enabling environment for sustainable productive interaction between researchers in tertiary institutions in Nigeria and industries and entrepreneurs so as to materialise their findings for the benefit of diversification of the economy of Nigeria.”
It observed that the volatile global economic situation has compelled Nigeria with a mono economy to diversify her sources of revenue, and to completely eliminate the over dependence on crude oil receipts which constitute over 90% of national income.
“A strongly diversified economy not only provides protection against the main national income drying up and subjecting her citizens to untold hardship; it is in constant process of diversification through investments into various sectors of the economy by local and foreign investors, and thereby stimulate economic growth and development,” it noted.
The conference was attended by scholars from diverse disciplines spanning sciences, arts, humanities, technology, and administration. 567 people were at the opening ceremony to witness the presentation of the lead paper by Prof. Job Nmadu of the Department of Agricultural Economy, Federal University of Technology, Minna. A lage number of papers were presented during the technical sessions of the conference, eliciting vigorous debate among the scholars.